Tax overhaul means faster growth | AspenTimes.com

Tax overhaul means faster growth

Progressive critics are enraged Republicans want to overhaul the creaky, leaky Internal Revenue Code to boost needed economic growth. I commend to them Laura Saunders' Oct. 20 article in the Wall Street Journal, "Your Favorite Tax Break Isn't as Great as You Think."

Saunders explains the economic inefficiency of the big five federal tax deductions, including the mortgage interest, charitable, and state and local tax deductions, as well as the non-taxation of employers' health insurance benefits. The preferential treatment of long-term capital gains gets the best grade at a B-, while the others earn from C+ to D (for mortgage interest and state and local taxes).

This means our federal income tax system has become a candy store for special interests (realtors, home builders, health insurers, states and cities that can't control their finances), while the country as a whole pays the heavy price of slow growth.

I'm not affiliated with any political party. This isn't a partisan thing. We need faster growth but won't get it without a major income tax overhaul. Hats off to those in Congress who are actually trying to get it done.

Maurice Emmer

Aspen